CIA begins arms delivery into Syria

CIA begins arms delivery into Syria
Thu Sep 12, 2013 09:52:07

The CIA has initiated delivering weapons to militants in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the US President Barack Obama administration.

The shipments began streaming into Syria over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the US role in Syria’s foreign-hatched war, Washington Post reported on Wednesday based on remarks made from US officials and Syrian figures.

The arms shipments, which are limited to light weapons and other munitions that can be tracked, began arriving in Syria at a moment of heightened tensions over threats by President Obama to order missile strikes to Syria.

The arms are being delivered as the United States is also shipping new types of nonlethal gear to militants. That aid includes vehicles, sophisticated communications equipment and advanced combat medical kits.

Although the Obama administration signaled months ago that it would increase aid to the foreign-backed militants, the efforts have lagged because of the logistical challenges involved in delivering equipment in a war zone and officials’ fears that any assistance could wind up in the hands of extremists. Secretary of State John Kerry had promised in April that the nonlethal aid would start flowing “in a matter of weeks.”

The delays prompted several senior US lawmakers to chide the Obama administration for not moving more quickly to aid the Syrian militants after promising lethal assistance in June. The criticism has grown louder amid the debate over whether Washington should use military force against the Syrian government, with some lawmakers withholding support until the administration committed to providing the militants with more assistance.

The latest effort to provide aid is aimed at supporting militants who are under the command of Gen. Salim Idriss, according to officials, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because part of the initiative is covert.

US officials, speaking about the provision of nonlethal aid, said they are determined to increase the cohesion and structure of the militant units.


string(1191) "[{"id":"1485016","sort":"3089934","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/06/16/alalam_635069896011580365_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Turkey, Jordan to send US arms to Syria militants"} ,{"id":"1496163","sort":"3089935","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/07/18/alalam_635097681152012797_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria army seizes militants' arms cache"} ,{"id":"1497845","sort":"3089936","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/07/23/alalam_635102152627093148_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria opposition chief in France to seek arms"} ,{"id":"1501398","sort":"3089937","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/03/alalam_635111231569883182_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Jordan captures arms smugglers from Syria"} ,{"id":"1504692","sort":"3089938","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/13/alalam_635120272191226585_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Sudan, new arms source for Syria militants: report"} ,{"id":"1506734","sort":"3089939","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/18/alalam_635124206560118489_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria army seizes arms smugglers near Qusayr"} ,{"id":"1509771","sort":"3089940","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/26/alalam_635131183620046968_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria rebels receive their largest pack of arms"} ]"